20 July 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Nation–Wide Movement To Extend Medical Aid To All Expectant Mothers
The Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) will soon launch a nation–wide campaign to extend medical care to all expectant mothers and speedily reduce maternal mortality rate from 300 to less than 100.
Every two months, a day will be observed as the ‘Save the Mother India Day’, whereby pregnant women will undergo free check up at select facilities.
“The campaign is a nationwide three–pronged evidencebased approach that focuses on ensuring antenatal care, supervised delivery and effective postnatal care to every pregnant woman in the country,” said Sanjay Gupte, senior gynaecologist and president of FOGSI.
We are currently in discussion with the Union government, which has shown interest in extending assistance to this campaign. It will kick off within next three months. The Indian Association of Paediatricians (IAP) and National Neonatology Forum (NNF) have also extended support, he added.
Gupte expressed hope that with a member strength of over 25,000 health professionals, the FOGSI can act as a strong link between the Government of India and the mother and extend proper medical care during and after pregnancy.
Gupte said, “The first important component of the campaign is to provide screening for risk factors, mapping the delivery place and IEC (information, education and communication) of pregnant women. This will help reach the unreached women. The second component is to ensure delivery facility, which includes training and equipping the health workers.”
Besides, the maternity centres will have clear–cut protocolbased management to intervene exactly at the level where it is needed, Gupte added. “A majority of deaths, both maternal and neonatal, occur around the delivery. Of these, most of the deaths occur due to bleeding. Therefore, the third very important component is the postnatal care.”
Need for the campaign
High maternal mortality rate is a stumbling block in our country’s growth progress. Today, in the list of countries with high maternal mortality rate, India ranks above Sri Lanka, Malaysia and China. Now we are compared with the Sub–Saharan countries.
Steps needed to control maternal mortality rate
- Increase contraceptive acceptability and access
- Increase awareness about planned pregnancy t Improve access to antenatal care
- Eradicate anaemia t Calcium supplements and dietary interventions to prevent preeclamptic toxaemia and Intrauterine growth restriction
- Evolution of standardised antenatal care protocol
- Encourage institutional delivery or delivery by skilled birth attendants
- Accreditate health care facilities
- Improve remuneration to health workers operating in peripheral areas
- Training of health care personnel
- Empowerment of the adolescent age group to avoid early pregnancies